USERRA protects the job rights of individuals who voluntarily or involuntarily leave employment positions to undertake military service or certain types of service in the National Disaster Medical System.
USERRA also prohibits employers from discriminating against past and present members of the uniformed services, and applicants to the uniformed services.
You have the right to be reemployed in your civilian job if you leave that job to perform service in the
uniformed service and:
you ensure that your employer receives advance written or verbal notice of your service;
you have five years or less of cumulative service in the uniformed services while with that
you return to work or apply for reemployment in a timely manner ater conclusion of service;
you have not been separated from service with a disqualifying discharge or under other than
If you are eligible to be reemployed, you must be restored to the job and benefits that you would have
attained if you had not been absent due to military service, or in some cases, a comparable job.
RIGHTS TO BE FREE FROM DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION
are a past or present member of the uniformed service;
have applied for membership in the uniformed service; or
are obligated to serve in the uniformed service; then an employer may not deny you:
retention in employment;
any benefit of employment because of this status.
In addition, an employer may not retaliate against anyone assisting in the enforcement of USERRA
rights, including testifying or making a statement in connection with a proceeding under USERRA, even
if that person has no service connection.
HEALTH INSURANCE PROTECTION
If you leave your job to perform military service, you have the right to elect to continue your
existing employer-based health plan coverage for you and your dependents for up to 24
months while in the military.
Even if you don’t elect to continue coverage during your military service, you have the right
to be reinstated in your employer’s health plan when you are reemployed, generally without
any waiting periods or exclusions (e.g., pre-existing conditions exclusions) except for serviceconnected illnesses or injuries.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of USERRA violations.
For assistance in filing a complaint, or for any other information on USERRA, contact VETS as
1-866-4-USA-DOL or visit its website at: http://www.dol.gov/vets. An interactive online
USERRA Advisor can be viewed at: http://www.dol.gov.elaws/userra.htm.
If you file a complaint with VETS and VETS is unable to resolve it, you may request that your
case be referred to the Department of Justice or the Office of Special Counsel, as applicable,
You may also bypass the VETS process and bring a civil action against an employer for violations of USERRA.